Michael Henry Stock, age 61 of the Town of Barksdale, died after a courageous battle with Pancreatic Cancer, Thursday morning, March 1, 2012, with his loving wife by his side.
He was born on August 9th, 1950, the son of Edward “Bum” and Mary (Homan) Stock at the Washburn Hospital. He attended grade school at Washburn DuPont School, St. Louis Catholic School then graduating from Washburn High School in 1968. He then attended the University of Wisconsin-Superior for 4 years studying to be a Lab Technician. During High School and college, Mike worked at the Washburn Foundry plus other odd jobs. He married Kathleen (Ekstrom) Swanson on April 22, 1995 in Washburn. At that time Mike had 3 cats and Kathy had 3 kids, 3 cats and a dog. Mike's comment was "this isn't a marriage, it's a merger of animals." Mike adjusted well to his new family and helped with homework challenges, attended ball games, music events, guided with carpentry projects and was a good listening ear to teenage issues being the best step-Dad they could have. Mike and Kathy proudly raised their family and took many enjoyable fishing trips to Canada as a couple.
After college Mike worked for Calvin’s Construction until he started his own Business, Stock Construction in November 1978. He worked for 33 years building beautiful homes for people as well as some commercial buildings which include the Medicine Shoppe for his brother and wife. Mike was a person who many would call a hero. His natural ability of knowledge was amazing. He could fix anything! Thru various years, Mike would help family and friends with their home projects and repairs. During his building career, Mike required solid perfection, no slacking allowed. Mike didn’t build a house for people, he built a home for them as he put his devotion into the project and family. This created a lifetime friendship with many people.
Mike loved nature and learned about flowers and plants as a young boy from a special neighbor, Art Carlson. He absorbed the knowledge and still has a Christmas cactus from Art as a child. Mike also loved hunting that he learned from his Dad and fishing that both his Mom and Dad introduced to him. Along with his parents, brother and sister, the family would enjoy a summer week in Herbster at a cabin and go fishing. He especially enjoyed fishing in Canada which began in 1979 with his good friend Kevin. It evolved thru the years resulting in at least 3 to 4 yearly trips split between spring and fall. He’d rotate the one lucky person to go with him from his friend, brother, wife or step-children. The routine at the cabin and on the lake was the same and followed by, “Commence fishing and smiling” while casting on the lake. Mike was ill but experienced his last fishing trip in September with his brother Joe who was there by his side so he could be in Canada fishing. Mike was actively involved with the Washburn Fire Department as a volunteer and EMT for 19 years from 1979-1997. Thru the years, Mike met many people. He gave much of himself, would humble to others needs and was respected by many. He will be greatly missed by his family and friends which also included those he worked with.
He is survived by his loving wife Kathy of the Town of Barksdale, 3 Step-children, Zachary (Meghan)Swanson of Washburn, WI, Hannah Swanson (Matt Slye) of Green Bay, WI, Lucas (Loralee) Swanson of Norfolk, VA. A brother, Joe (Cindy) Stock; sister, Janine (Paul) Johanik; nephews, Jon Stock and Scott Johanik; niece Jessie Stock, cousins, extended brothers and sisters-in law and close friends as stated “a brother from another mother”.
Mike was preceded in death by his parents, several aunts and uncles including a special Uncle Joe Homan and cousin Bill Bratley.
A Memorial Mass will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, March 10th at St Louis Catholic Church, 713 Washington Ave., Washburn, with Fr. Aaron Kalmon officiating. Visitation will begin at 1:00 p.m. and continue until the time of service.
A special thank you to Regional Hospice the Essentia Health Chemo nurses for the loving support they always gave to Mike. He respected your knowledge and embraced your tenderness.